We are now halfway through our program and though we are looking forward to the comforts of being at home, and not on a floor, we are already missing this place and these people. Our day began once again with a wake-up call at 7:00am.Like zombies, we rolled out of bed and got dressed so that we could have breakfast. Once again our breakfast consisted of various cereals and oatmeal, hard-boiled eggs, and mini-bagels and toast. We once again made out lunch and threw it in the cooler for later. If you haven’t guessed yet they have us on a pretty regular schedule. After breakfast we began our devotional time where the theme for the day is sacrifice. Our scripture was from Matthew:
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
Matthew 13:44-46 (NIV)
We heard Katie, the Kid’s Club Coordinator, talk about sacrifice and the ways in which we make sacrifices for our faith and the Kingdom of God. In the parable Jesus is trying to describe to his followers what the Kingdom of God looks like. He describes it as being something so precious that people will/should give everything in pursuit of that Kingdom. Gabby, the Program Director, made an interesting point about the two parables in this passage regarding sacrifice and the Kingdom. She said that in the first parable the man happened upon this great treasure, he wasn’t intentionally looking for it but when he found it he knew he found something special. And so in order to obtain that treasure he sold all he had to buy the land in which he buried that treasure. I always questioned why the man buried the treasure and not share it with others, but Gabby gave me another perspective from which to view this story. In the second parable the merchant is intentionally looking for fine pearls. He knows what he is looking for and while not finding the most beautiful one yet, he still keeps on looking. Then when he does find it he sold everything he had and bought it. Sometimes we are looking for God’s Kingdom in our midst, intentionally looking for ways in which we can be the reflection of God’s love and mercy in the here and now; and sometimes we happen upon something even when we aren’t looking for it. So it is our responsibility to be both looking for ways in which we give up the things that separate us from others and the love of God and to be ready to receive the unexpected gifts of God when we least expect them. Though our youth may not yet have had to sacrifice a lot for their faith, they did understand this concept and knew that they gave up something just to be on this trip.
After our devotional time we made our way out to Skunk Village and the house we have been working on. We had another morning of painting ahead of us and all of us were looking forward to just painting, and not doing any of the other prep work. After two hours of work we finished three sides of the house, leaving one side for tomorrow and the trim.
By 11:00 it was quitting time so we cleaned up the site and headed back to the school for lunch. The kids began to arrive and then it was off to the Brown Building for our afternoon fun. Once again we helped facilitate Kid’s Club for the younger kids and Sports Camp for the older ones. It was another beautiful day so we were able to be outside, which the kids loved…especially piggy-back rides and being pushed on the swings. After two hours of running around the kids went home and we went back to the school to quickly change so that we could go to Glacier National Park. Our evening would be spent in the park.
We made the hour drive from Heart Butte to East Glacier, which is the eastern gate into the park. It is a tourist town with lots of little restaurants and shops and some pretty swanky hotels. In the middle of this village was the world’s largest purple spoon…we had to stop and take a picture. As we wound our way around mountains and rivers we entered the park and stopped at Eagle Falls. Eagle Falls is only a short walk from the parking lot and it was beautiful. We could hear the falls well before we got there and had to cross a dry river bed to get over to the falls. everyone enjoyed their time wandering around the falls and taking pictures.
After about twenty minutes or so we drove the short distance to the Two Medicine Campground where there is a gift shop near the shores of Two Medicine Lake. We did a little bit of shopping in the gift shop and then set up dinner on the front porch. We had brought pizza, salad, and drinks with us and we ate at the Gift Shop at Two Medicine Campground.
Once we finished eating we walked all of two hundred yards to the shores of Two Medicine Lake. We had an opportunity to walk around and explore the area. We then gathered for our worship service which was slightly different from normal. Instead of using their structure for worship, together we planned a Eucharist service but with their content. Rev. Lauren led the Liturgy of the Word and Gabby offered her reflections on the parables above. Brandon led us in our now familiar worship songs. We then gathered around in a circle with a music stand as our altar, a hoagie roll as our bread and a glass of grape juice as our wine and we celebrated the Eucharist. It was slightly awkward for the YouthWorks staff that are not from a Eucharistic tradition but with the lake as our setting everyone felt the presence of God in our midst. The sun set during our service and when we were done we had a few more moments to take in our surrounding before hopping back in the car for our ride back to Heart Butte.
We got back to the school and all went straight to bed. Another amazing day in the books! We are looking forward to our final day, hoping to finish the house and to have one last good afternoon with the kids.
So I leave you with this photo and video. Goodnight y’all!